Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Strokes and Heart Attacks Require Immediate Attention

Strokes and heart attacks happen every day.

Sometimes heart attack victims do not recognize the attack as such.

Not all heart attacks are the sudden overwhelming experiences familiar to moviegoers.

Sometimes, particularly at the beginning, heart attacks can be manifest as simply shortness of breath or an uncomfortable sensation, usually in the chest but sometimes in other regions of the upper body. Heart attacks can also involve giddiness, nausea or cold sweats. The symptoms of heart attacks are especially varied in women.

Strokes, on the other hand, have definite and recognizable symptoms. If someone suddenly becomes confused and has trouble comprehending what is said or in speaking, or if they lose coordination or become dizzy to the point where they cannot walk, they may be having a stroke. If they become numb, particularly on one side of the face or in one extremity, or are suddenly afflicted with a bad headache, a stroke may be the culprit.

Either experience is a medical emergency, and the victim should have help immediately. Afterward, lifestyle changes will be in order. Severe cases will call for physical therapy, but everyone who has had a stroke or heart attack should abstain from tobacco, eat a good diet, get a healthy amount of exercise and take prescribed medication. This need not be prohibitively expensive. Patients can buy Plavix, for instance, from online pharmacies for substantially less than at a brick and mortar outlet. Survivors who follow doctor's advice about medication and lifestyle can experience a long, healthy life after a stroke or heart attack.

As always, my advice is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified medical professional. Please seek immediate attention if you feel that you may be having a heart attack or stroke or if you feel you may be at risk for either of these attacks.

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